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Woman trapped inside medieval bathroom for 7 hours used cotton earbuds and eyeliner to escape

She came up with a unique way to free herself from the confines of her medieval bathroom after the lock on the heavy door broke.

Woman trapped inside medieval bathroom for 7 hours used cotton earbuds and eyeliner to escape
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Krisztina Ilko

Getting trapped in a room with no way to escape can be anyone's worst nightmare. Well, this recent incident might encourage people to carry their cell phones to the bathroom to avoid falling into situations like Dr. Krisztine Ilko's. Ilko, a Cambridge University academic, found herself trapped in the bathroom of a medieval tower where she resides. The old tower has several rooms and one of the spaces was previously occupied by the famed 16th-century philosopher Desiderius Erasmus, where Ilko currently resides.


The 33-year-old junior research fellow and director of studies at Queens' College came up with an interesting way to free herself after she was trapped in her bathroom for seven hours, per The Independent. The tools that helped Ilko rescue herself were nothing complicated. She just had a cotton earbud and an eyeliner pencil at her disposal. Ilko found herself in a difficult situation after the lock on her bathroom's heavy wooden door broke.

She claimed that a plumber working to fix her shower earlier that week was responsible for her broken lock. As a result, she got trapped in the bathroom on Thursday, which didn't even have a window on. Her rooms were not due to get cleaned until Monday, so she was worried about going four days trapped there without food or any other facilities. "I was trying to remember how long a person can survive on just water and hoping that I wouldn't die there. If people came looking for me, would they check the bathroom or would I have to wait for Monday," she told the outlet.


"I tried to bang the shower head on the door, break it with brute force and shout for help, but nothing worked and no one could hear me," Ilko continued. When her attempts to break the door were futile, she knew she had to switch to another plan to free herself. Then, she found her eyeliner pencil and a cotton earbud in the bathroom. After a bit of tinkering, she managed to push down the latch using those two trusted tools. Ilko made a hook with the earbud, attacked it to the eyeliner and was able to free herself from the bathroom after seven long hours.

"Sometimes when I hear sounds around here, I joke that it is the ghost of Erasmus, then I thought I was going to join him and become a Cambridge legend," she joked. "When I eventually got out and the door opened, it was exhilarating because I didn't think it would work. I expected to be there for five days or longer but I made it out." She had since removed the faulty lock from the bathroom. In a post on her X handle @krisztina_ilko, she posted about the situation with a picture of herself holding her two trusted tools of rescue against the heavy wooden door.


The caption read, "The plumber broke the lock in the bathroom and forgot to tell me. I went in, got locked in. The door is solid wood and wouldn't break. I was stuck for 7 hours (I thought I'd be there for days, as no one could hear). Finally, handpicked the lock with an eyeliner and an ear pick." Ilko also joked in the comments how watching the 1985 "MacGyver" series "clearly paid off" for her in this case. People who came across this popular post on X shared their amazement in the comment section.



@CatArthurian wrote, "That is like a nightmare with a happy ending. There is something to be said about having your phone with you AT ALL TIMES." @nprscottsimon added, "Oooh, happened to me years ago, but just for 4 hours. Same dire thoughts. All I had to eat was toothpaste. Heard the phone ringing, couldn't reach it, cat yowling. Funny now, but not then. You may have slight claustrophobia in the days ahead. Don't hesitate to get help." @VelvetBarstool quipped, "Impressed by your ingenuity and fortitude! Please get all your money back from that plumber."

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